Heart of Stone by Sandra Kay
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Length: Full (368 pages)
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Camellia
A marriage in name only. A secret past. Can love be found amid the tangle of distrust and betrayal? Alone and pregnant with twins, Amber Wilson has only a fuzzy memory of how she got that way. One thing she knows for sure—no man will ever get near enough to hurt her again. But when she meets Stone Brandon, the attraction is too great to ignore. Stone’s ex-fiancée’s betrayal has hardened his heart. Though he is drawn to Amber, he knows he can never fall in love again. Still, with her help, the dreams he has for the expansion of his family’s ranch can become a reality. A platonic marriage seems like the logical answer for both of them—until he realizes that a marriage in name only with Amber is a hell of his own making.
Stubborn pride, sanctimonious pride, and unbridled lust, though not of her making, cause Amber Wilson misery. They threaten to defeat her at times. Fleeting memories of a terrifying experience makes her fearful and defensive but her inner strength, humor, and innate goodness ignite a spark of resolute determination that brings her survival instincts to the fore and make her a joy to read about.
Ruggedly handsome cowboy Stonewall (Stone) Jackson Brandon, emotionally wounded and humiliated by his ex-fiancé, barricades his heart against love and almost loses the greatest of his treasures. He is so dead set on getting his trust fund, running the ranch to suit himself, and soothing his hurt pride, he runs roughshod over lots of people—people he really cares about but will not admit that he does. His flaws cause grief but his true self rises to the occasion when the chips are down. Wow, what a hero he is!
Sandra Kay creates a setting and secondary characters (some that are real stinkers) that enhance the actions, emotions, and foibles of both the hero and heroine. The symbolism adds interesting texture to the story, example: perfume “Poison”. Also, wonderful phrases like “edge of her soul ragged” makes for satisfying reading.
Heart of Stone, well-crafted and smooth flowing, pulls the reader into the Texas hill country in the heat of summer to be a participate in the ‘gorgeous”, blue-eyed Stone’s and the feisty, very-pregnant Amber’s special story—a love story that reminds one why reading romance is good for emotional well-being.